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Outlook 2013 -- email tracking

Posted on 2014-08-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-12-08
How can I get something like the
below "Desired Steps" to save time
since I contact 50+ people per day
and always have to FOLLOWUP with
users that do NOT reply ?
  ** I am willing to switch to a
       different email client if needed
Original Steps

Outlook 2013 -- Email Tracking ?

Old Steps

 1. used axosoft.com's OLD onPremise
    OnTime 2010 software which automatically
    added a unique case # to all incoming emails
 2. bad since
      ** did not integrate with Outlook,
         therefore I needed to still use
         Outlook for Group Calendar, etc
Current Steps

Part #1
 1. click NEW message as normal
 2. click FollowUp
    click AddReminder
    change REMINDER dropdown to 7 days from now
    click OK
 3. I enter subject and body, then click SEND

Part #2
 1. user replies
 2. I do one of the below
       ** if answer is GOOD and I remember
          there was a reminder setup
            a) find old reminder in SENT items
            b) click FollowUp
            c) click Clear Flag
       ** if answer is NOT GOOD
            a) just reply back
               keep orginal reminder "as-is"
Desired Steps

Part #1
 1. click NEW message as normal
 2. click "Followup"
       ** message automatically adds something like
          [Case #1001, 1002, etc] to SUBJECT line
       ** also books a REMINDER for me to
          contact in 7 days if no reply
 3. I enter remaining subject and
    body, then click SEND

Part #2
 1. user replies which automatically
    takes email off my "Tracking" list
 2. I reply back to put email back
    on my "Tracking" list
Question by:finance_teacher
LVL 76

Accepted Solution

David Lee earned 2000 total points
ID: 40279174
You can achieve all of the desired behavior in Part #1 with a simple macro.  Part #2 is possible through some scripting, but not as simple and it will be subject to some problems.  The biggest problem is recognizing a response to a tracked message.  Say that you create a message, add "[Case #1001]" to the subject line, and send it.  The recipient receives the message and replies, but either replies with a new message of their own (as opposed to clicking "Reply" to your message) or removes/changes the "[Case #1001]" in the subject line.  The response comes back to you but is not recognized as a reply since the case information isn't in the subject line.  You've received your reply, but the solution doesn't see it as a reply and leaves the reminder active.  

I've dealt with this issue before and there just isn't a good way to ensure that the tracking number/code stays in place.  If you could guarantee that all the messages would be in HTML format, then the solution could "hide" the tracking code in the message.  That approach fails though as soon as one of the recipients has their mail client set to force all messages into plain text format.  If all the messages you want to track are within your organization and your organization uses Exchange as the back-end server, then the solution could use a custom message form or message property.  Neither of those are options for messages destined for anyone outside of your organization.  Another solution is to use a tracking pixel, but that approach won't work if the recipient is blocking images.  

If you can live with a manual solution where you would look at a message, recognize it as a response, and then click a button to indicate to remove it from the list of tracked messages, then you can come close to what you want.  In that approach, a script would check the message for the tracking number.  If it finds one, then it would remove the reminder.  If it doesn't find one, then it could show you a list of active reminders and let you choose which one to cancel.

Author Comment

ID: 40279521
Can you post an example of your

"script would check the message for the tracking number.  If it finds one, then it would remove the reminder.  If it doesn't find one, then it could show you a list of active reminders and let you choose which one to cancel."

so I can test ?

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